Outdoor workers in Saudi banned from working midday until summer ends

A labourer works at a construction site in Riyadh. (File photo: Reuters)

Saudi Minister of Labor Adel Fakeih, issued a decision of banning street workers from toiling under the sun from Sunday, June the 15th until the 15th of September, according to the Saudi Gazette.

“The amendment has come due to concern for workers’ safety and health and for the interest of work due to the changes in the climatic conditions that might expose the workers to great risks,” said the Ministry in a statement. The ministerial decision specifies that it is not allowed for anyone to work under the sun from 12.00 noon to 3.00 p.m. from June 15 until September 15 every Gregorian year.

The Kingdom-wide ban was first implemented by the Ministry of Labor in 2011 prohibiting outdoor work in noon where violators risk being fined, shut down or both.

When organizing working hours according to the rules of Articles 98, 99 and 100 of the Labor Regulation, the employer must take into consideration what has been mentioned in the first paragraph of this decision.

Workers employed in oil and gas companies are exempt from this decision, as well as maintenance workers for emergencies provided the appropriate measures are taken to protect them from the harms of the sun’s rays.

Companies violating this decision will be penalized, and the penalties mentioned in Article 236 of the labor regulation will be implemented against them – a fine of not less $ 800 and not more than $2,700 for each violation or closing down the facility for a period not exceeding 30 days, or it will be shut down permanently. It is permissible to combine a fine and closure while stopping the source of danger.

Saudi Gazette met with a number of workers on Saturday afternoon who said the maintenance companies they are working for never informed them of this decision and they might force them to work midday. They added that they work under the sun every day.

Muhammad Mu’min, a worker, expressed fears that this decision might cause the company to decrease his salary, for working fewer hours.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:43 - GMT 06:43